I figured, I’d link my first article for the entertaining website the Scrib here on my website. For those thinking of trying yage/ ayahuasca please read this and feel free to comment. This is not for everyone, and please, be sure to investigate the proposed shamanic retreat and be safe.
Not normally one for any substance of this sort, I was convinced by my friend (mentioned in the piece) and her parents when we were in her hometown of Iquitos, Peru. This is their culture and it was to be an honour for me. I did experience quite a strong reaction, it was something I would not care to repeat and I can safely say that I did not feel “right” for the next couple of days.
There are many places to experience the ceremony, but, it is not for me to list them here. You need to check everything out thoroughly, there was a case a year or so ago about an American youngster dying and the shaman trying to cover his tracks by burying his body in the jungle.
The Yage is not to be taken lightly, and according to most shamans, women should not take it at all. I did it twice several years ago in Colombia and will NEVER do it again. In fact, in one of my visions the second time I was warned that I should not do it ever again. I don't need convincing. There are too many people thinking this is like LSD or marijuana trips, but it far exceeds those experiences and I truly thought I was going to die the first time. Later, after the second phase kicked in, I wished I had. The second imbibing was milder and I have been told since then that the shaman can alter the combinations for this purpose. But if you don't know the shaman or his true experience with the 'herbs' you can get a killer dose and if the shaman is inexperienced, he will not know how to bring you around.
I highly recommend staying away from ayahuasca, yaje, yage, or even smoking herbs unless you are with people who know the shaman's history and experience – and even then, it could be a crap shoot. (pun intended)
Your points are very valid and very true. I will never experiment with this again. Thank you for your comment.
"According to most shamans, women should not take it at all."
What sexist nonsense! Some shamans are women. Read a book called Black Smoke about an American woman who was cured of cancer and then became an ayahuasca healer herself. Inform yourself about the Daime UDV churches and others in which men and women drink ayahuasca twice a month in their sacred ceremonies.
And there is no "killer dose" of ayahuasca. Some shamans may add other plants such as datura/toe or brugmansia and those can be deadly, with or without ayahuasca.
The only good advice in this rather negative post is that, like other aspects of life, one should educate oneself before jumping in. It is especially important to discontinue certain drugs, like antidepressants, for a period of time before taking ayahuasca and there is a specific diet to follow before and during a retreat. Foods and drugs with tryptamine can be deadly if combined with ayahuasca. This is spiritual practice and if you come at like a tourist you are more likely to have a tourist's experience.
Interesting points Ana, thank you for your comment. I am a skeptic, the post represents my thoughts and experiences, so hence the negative take. I don't believe that there can be subjectivity on a theme such as this and so I just detailed my experiences.
A short documentary of an indigenous use of ayahuasca (in spanish)- a must watch for anyone interested in its use. Talks on traditional medicinal use and how it should not be used.
Excellent, I'll have a watch of this later.